We're loving the lace-up revolution, which is why we decided to partner with Giro--the instigator-in-chief--to produce the Empire ACC Limited Edition Cycling Shoes. They're essentially the same shoes as the regular Empire, just bathed in our logo's own take on the tricolor: red, grey, and lighter, reflective grey. The result is a refreshing departure from the usual white, black, or in-your-face fluo, subtly representing Competitive Cyclist with an aesthetic treatment that stands out. But enough about us, let's talk about shoes. The Empire ACC platform made such a splash and inspired so many imitators because, contrary to industry assumptions, laces aren't a useless anachronism in cycling shoe closure systems. They provide seven different points of contact for fit customization, which is one, two, three, four more than the typical three-strap shoes that have largely defined cycling footwear for the past three decades. More contact points means finer tune-ability; finer tune-ability means fewer hotspots; fewer hotspots mean less discomfort--you can see where we're going here, the Empire model's unrivaled comfort means we'll be going a lot longer without foot pain. Underneath the distinctive Competitive colorway lie the standard Giro Empire uppers, which constitute a single piece of Evofiber microfiber per shoe. This material is exceptionally lightweight and highly breathable, and it features perforations for added cooling. This contributes not only to the sleek, wind-cheating profile, but it also reduces weight. And while the shoes might not appear to be very supportive, the opposite is actually true. Because of the flexibility of the microfiber and the classic lace system, the shoes are able to be tied so that they fit your feet like a second skin. Adding to this is the ultralight and ultra-stiff Easton EC90 ACC Carbon Sole. Though it's not as light as the Empire SLX's superlative sole, the EC90 remains one of the stiffest soles in the industry. It's also one of t...
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